France joins others in criticising Google

France today joined the long list of countries complaining about Google’s Street View snooping, according to the Washington Post.

France’s privacy watchdog CNIL said in a news conference that Google has handed over copies of e-mails, browsing history, banking details, and other data it says it accidentally collected while snapping pics of streets with its Googlemobiles.

A few countries requested that Google destroy the data, but many others wanted it retained as evidence in prosecuting the search giant. CNIL has been analysing the French data Google has handed over for the last two weeks, but has not confirmed if it will press charges against Google.

Yann Padova, the head of CNIL, said that it is still unclear how many people’s privacy has been compromised by Google, but data has been collected in over 30 countries.

Germany has been one of the most vocal countries to berate Google on the privacy invasion. It is leading an inquiry into the Street View debacle, but recently it was revealed that it had not been given access to a certain hard drive that Google had been using to store some of the data. With continued pressure it hopes to get access to it within the next fortnight.

Google has blamed the error on one of its engineers, who the company said misused his free time to write “rogue code” into the Street View system. The privacy groups are less concerned with how it happened, however; they want Google held accountable for the crime.